Last night I was sitting at my computer with nothing better to do than stumble the evening away, and I began to realize what an awkward and kind of sad place my life is in right now. I sit around all day looking for jobs, most of which I won’t take because I refuse to work in food service, then I play some video games and/or paint my Warhammer figures or sit online and hope that Ami is around whilst stumbling. Which is what I did last night. It doesn’t make for the most uplifting set of circumstances in the world, and I hardly can blame anyone but myself for this. (Though I guess in some small way I could blame President Bush for the bad economy, but that’d be a little too easy and also a little too unfair. While he- and congress- certainly had a hand in making things worse it isn’t as if they’re coming up to me and saying “NO! NO JOBS FOR YOU!” like some sort of congressional soup nazi.)
Okay, so I’ve acknowledged that it is pretty much- hell who am I kidding?- it IS my fault that my life is the way it currently is. I don’t mean this to sound emo, or whiny, or anything else my oh-so-sensitive friends will care to label it, but the simple truth is that my life is the way it is because of me. The awesome flip side to this, obviously, is that the path to improvement rests solely on my shoulders! Which is a very reassuring thing, because I think I may have flipped out and died if it all rested on Patrick’s shoulders. *shudder* No thank you.
A lot of people may think that I’m fairly proactive in my life (as in I do a lot of positive actions towards my goals, not the fucking zit medicine) but here’s a fun fact: I’m not. No really! Often many people have assumed that going to Korea, or College, or my road trips and/or vacations have been well thought out plans with lots of mitigating factors and effort put into their execution. Let me be the first to assure you, they weren’t. I went to the University of Missouri solely for the facts that it A) Accepted me B) Offered me some money C) Wasn’t in Arkansas. Seriously! It, obviously, worked out very well for me- but my point is that one of the largest decisions in my life was made as a whim, with little real regard for how it was going to work out for my future. Do I regret it? No. God no. And the same holds true to Korea, and in that case I actually had *a lot* less planning involved with Korea and basically one day said “Well traveling sounds cool, I’mma go to Korea for a year.” and that was that. I don’t really have a problem with this sort of flight of fancy methodology in my life decisions, it has worked out incredibly well for me thus far. The real problem is that I need to embrace *that* more and embrace- for lack of a better term- Americanism less.
Before anyone reads this and assumes that I don’t like America (God forbid Glen Beck comes along and reads this), I do love America, and I don’t even really have a problem with the mass consumer shopping and idiocy and lies and just flat out insanity of the rat race and corporatism. At least, not a huge problem with it. I’ve just realized that the “typical” American life style isn’t something that I want to embrace. I don’t really need, or want, to work the rest of my life for a home and a car and to support the family that may or may not be my family by the time I retire (or at least, I may not have the wife) and I have no real desire to procreate and bring more people into this already insane world, so they can use already diminishing supplies, so that I can deprive other- already living and suffering people- of water and rice and clothes and a future. I, and we, do that plenty enough simply by existing. I’m not saying that I won’t work, and I’m not saying that I’m not going to buy things, but what I am saying is that when I do both of those activities I will do them in the manner that *I* find to be the best. Period. If I feel like one day getting up and leaving my job of four years and moving to some random new city, I want to be mobile enough to do so. This country, much less this world, is far too big and exciting and wonderful to spend my entire life working for things that are ultimately meaningless.
Okay, so that was a lot of big talk. Or sorta big talk. OKAY. It was a lot of poorly written talk about some decent ideas, yeah? Yeah. But the real question is this: What the hell am I going to do about it? Well, I have a few ideas (because why the hell else would I write out the rhetorical question if I didn’t have answers?) Yeah, I just put you in your place. So here we go, ideas for Joshua’s new life!
- Idea the First: Exercise. I know, it seems like one of those obvious and easy goals that we should all do- but we don’t. This is, for the time being, the most important thing I can do with my life right now. Exercise increases your general happiness, makes you more healthy (because fuck dying young), and- to be blunt- makes you more attractive. There’s no reason to not do it. Spend at least one hour a day doing this.
- Idea the Dugeyo: Write. I don’t mean that I should write works of fiction every single day, nor should I expect that what I write will have anything even vaguely resembling literary quality, but I should write everyday. And write it in a public place. If I don’t have anything to say about my personal life, then I should write a review of a video game. Or I should piss and moan about Glen Beck. Something like that. Spend one hour a day.
- Idea the Thrice: Be a minimalist. This is both in terms of what I own, and what I buy. Do I really need that 41st pack of Zendikar cards? Probably not. I should instead think about it like this: Am I going to get that one rare that I need for my one deck? Nope. I should just buy that one rare and be done with it, before I spend 50 more dollars for a 4 dollar card. Also: Get rid of shit I don’t use. I used to do this fairly often, but I seem not to anymore. I’m getting rid of it if I don’t use it, or I can’t justify it for the purpose of memories. This will be an ongoing process.
- Idea the Quatro: Video games! Give them up. Stop laughing! Really! I’m being serious! What are video games besides an excellent way for me to waste time and money? I admit I enjoy playing games, and am actually pretty good at playing them, but how do they help me in life at all? None, really. I suppose I should clarify. I don’t mean stop playing *all* video games all together, what I mean is stop playing games when I have other things I could be doing that are far more productive or- at the very least- stop playing games that are predominantly single player. I’ve realized that single player games more or less bore me to tears these days. So I shall stop playing with them. On that topic, anyone want to buy a DSi or a PSP? On going, same as exercise.
- Idea the Pyat: Work on skills which are relevant to the life I wish to lead, or at least skills that will help me be competitive in our modern world. No offense to anyone who sews, but learning how to program in C++ will be vastly more useful to me- not to mention far more in line with how my brain thinks about the world. Analysis, programming, web design, these are all things I should be focusing on. Not how to paint Warhammer figures. Not to say I can’t ever do that, but C++ will help me more than painting Warhammer figs will. Again, an on going process.
- Idea the Roku: Less anger. STOP LAUGHING! It isn’t healthy. I need to cut it out of my life because it is by far the most unproductive thing that I do with my life. It raises my levels of stress, it makes people wary to talk to me, and fills me with impotent rage. Which is pretty much the antithesis of productivity. Of course, I’m not going to give up anger- instead I’m going to try and find ways to productively channel that anger. LIFE LONG PROCESS.
So that’s a general plan for my life for a while. I post it on here so that I can have all of you hold me accountable. Pester me about it, ask me if I’ve done these things, make me explore new things that you think will help me. As much as I would like to try this all on my own, I know I won’t be able to. So… help please. 🙂